• What is Special Education?

    Special education is education that is individually tailored to meet the unique needs of a student that result from his or her disability. Special education is provided free of charge by public schools under Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).


    Special Education May Be:

    • An individulized education curriculum that is different from same age peers who do not have disabilities 
    • The same curriculum but includes accommodations and modifications
    • A combination of both


    The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act's (IDEA) definition of Special Education:

    Special education means specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, including—

    (i) Instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals and institutions, and in other settings; and

    (ii) Instruction in physical education.


    Minnesota has 13 categorical disabilities including:

    • Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
    • Blind-Visually Impaired (BVI)
    • Deaf and Hard of Hearing (D/HH)
    • Deaf-Blind (DB)
    • Developmental Cognitive Disabilities (DCD)
    • Developmental Delay (DD)
    • Emotional or Behavioral Disorders (EBD)
    • Other Health Disabilities (OHD)
    • Physically Impaired (PI)
    • Severely Multiply Impaired (SMI)
    • Specific Learning Disabilties (SLD)
    • Speech or Language Impairments (SLI)
    • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)